Monday, April 14, 2014

Re-titled Novels and Plays

My sophomores drove me up a wall yesterday when I assigned an essay. Some of the things that came out of their mouths hurt my soul* but one thing that they said, not only hurt my soul, but gave me this blog idea.

While assigning the essay on Middle Eastern and African literature, one of my students made the connection back to Things Fall Apart. However, they did not say "Things Fall Apart," they said "That book about that guy that killed himself because of some white guys or something."

Yes, I'm sure that is what the novel is titled.

This lead to an idea.

What if high school students titled novels/plays?

So, using the knowledge of what my students have said in the past, I have put together some titles of famous novels that we read at my school as if they were titled by my students.

Sadly, I could keep going but I must stop before it gets out of hand and I neglect my grading.

*Here is why: I assigned the thesis essay using the same requirements I have used all year and that were used their freshmen year since it is a department policy and just common writing sense. (If you don't know what they are, go here. It will help) These quotes actually came out of their mouths:

"Wait! We need quotes?! Since when do we need quotes?!"
"Holy crap! We need a works cited page? Why do I need one when I have the thing after the quote?"
"So we only need two quotes for the entire paper right?"

Monday, April 7, 2014

Survival of 3rd Quarter Slump

Ah, the end of the 3rd quarter has happened. For those of you that teach high school (maybe middle school as well), you know that grades drop significantly during this quarter. The underclassmen assume that they have life figured out, so they start to slack off. The juniors have started to get too preoccupied with prom and the seniors have started to stop caring (the real challenge comes to get seniors to do ANYTHING during 4th quarter).

Due to all of this, the grades of most students drop a letter grade if not more. This then causes parents to freak out and email you over, and over, and over, and over asking for grade changes. It also causes students BEGGING for extra credit.

How do you survive this? I have a few suggestions for you.

  • Pretend you have become completely computer illiterate and you don't know how to access your email until a week after the 4th quarter starts. "Oh, I'm sorry. I had temporary amnesia and couldn't remember how to log into my email." I'm sure the parents will understand
  • Smile anytime any student says something to you. Just smile. Don't speak. Just smile. The students will be driven away by your creepiness.

  • Respond to any email with condescending Wonka. This is my personal favorite option.

  • Throw your computer out the window. You know, because if you don't have a computer, you can't answer any emails. It is a fool proof excuse.
  • Remember that you're supposed to be a professional and keep your cool even though it is super annoying that the students only care about their grades now. This is obviously the only logical option. Which is why the douchebag student meme should help. Yes, I know I've used this before but when it helps, it helps.